(New York, September 10, 2013)—Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, announced today the appointment of Diana Craig Patch as Lila Acheson Wallace Curator in Charge of the Museum’s Department of Egyptian Art. She has been serving as acting head of the department since the retirement of Dorothea Arnold last year. Her election took place at today’s meeting of the Board of Trustees.
“Diana is a consummate curator, scholar, and archaeologist who has played an important role in the Department of Egyptian Art for the past 17 years,” said Mr. Campbell in making the announcement. “I look forward to working with her in her new capacity as she leads the department’s team of superb curators in presenting exhibitions and overseeing the Museum’s vast Egyptian collection—one of the finest in the world and one of the most studied and most visited by our millions of visitors each year.”
He continued: “An important part of Diana’s responsibilities will also be to work with her department to carry on the Museum’s long-term commitment to excavation and research in Egypt. We wish the best for Egypt in this difficult time and are dedicated to continuing our ongoing and very positive relationship with our colleagues in the museums and excavations there.”
Most recently, Diana Craig Patch served as Acting Associate Curator in Charge (2012-2013) and Acting Curator in Charge (2013) of the Department of Egyptian Art. She began her career at the Metropolitan Museum in 1996 as Gallery Administrator for Egyptian Art and was subsequently Senior Research Associate and Gallery Administrator (2001-2003), Assistant Curator (2003-2008), and Associate Curator (2008-2012). Earlier in her career, she was research associate for the Egyptian Section of The University Museum at the University of Pennsylvania.
She curated the popular and critically praised exhibition The Dawn of Egyptian Art at the Metropolitan Museum in 2012 and co-curated with Dorothea Arnold the reinstallation of the Museum’s Predynastic and Early Dynastic gallery in 2004. She also co-directed the Walton Hall of Ancient Egypt at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh (1985-1990). She has published and lectured extensively and has been an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Art at City College, City University of New York, and a lecturer at Rutgers University and the University of Pittsburgh.
Her field experience includes, most recently, her work as Project Co-Director of the Joint Expedition to Malqata, a project to map, survey, and excavate the festival city of Amenhotep III (2008-present). She has also been a field consultant to the Metropolitan Museum’s Egyptian Excavations at Dahshur, Egypt (1999-2000); Director of the American Research Center in Egypt’s Field School Project at Memphis (1995-2003); and Field Director of the Pennsylvania-Yale Expedition to Abydos, Egypt (1982-83).
Diana Craig Patch is currently organizing the exhibition Cleopatra’s Needle to celebrate the new conservation project on the obelisk of Thutmose III, a gift from Egypt to the United States in 1879 that is installed in Central Park behind the Metropolitan Museum. The exhibition—which will be on view at the Met from December 3, 2013, through June 8, 2014—will explore the meaning of obelisks in ancient Egypt and consider how these massive monuments were created and erected. It will also illustrate the impact of the ancient architectural form on western culture and the long-standing fascination with obelisks that continues today through examples like this one in Central Park.
Egyptian Art at the Metropolitan Museum
The Department of Egyptian Art at the Metropolitan Museum was established in 1906. At that time, an intensive program of excavations in Egypt also began, bringing—under the then-practiced, generous system of partitioning finds granted by the Egyptian Antiquities Authority—many pieces of great artistic, historical, and cultural importance into the collection. Because of its work in Egypt, the Museum is especially rich in objects with archaeological context, especially from the Middle Kingdom, the early New Kingdom, and the early first millennium. Over time, some major private collections were added by purchase and as gifts, with the result that the Metropolitan Museum owns today one of the most important collections of Egyptian art in the world. Most of its approximately 30,000 objects are displayed chronologically in 31 main and seven study galleries, covering the time range from before 4000 B.C. to A.D. 400.
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September 10, 2013